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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:47 pm 
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Drove a BMW M4 and a single seater Formula Oulton car. Thought the BMW was incredible, it accelerated like no car i've driven in the flesh and handled like it was on rails, even when the rear started to dance a bit. Got told (to my utter amazement given how I think I drive my road car) that I am incredibly smooth with the wheel and the pedals and absolutely spot on with my cornering lines (surely I had to be, been watching cars race since I was single digits). The instructor let me overtake my entire group and I pretty much left them for dead, which was nice for the ego. He said he was disappointed I was splitting my time between 2 cars, cos he thought he could have some fun with me really ramping it up. Maybe another time.

The single seater however, was a whole new world.

The grip is unreal, and while the acceleration wasn't as mindblowing as it might have been (especially after thrashing an M4 for a bit), my god does it feel fast. New found respect for all single seater drivers, in comparison that car really is the training wheel stuff, but manhandling it about the circuit took some doing, and when I dropped a side over some rumble kerb, jesus do you not half feel it straight in your back. Was stuck behind someone else for the first few laps (quick enough through the fast bits he was, but pretty much came to a stop for the tight stuff) but when he mistakenly peeled into the pits for what he thought was a chequered flag, I got to really push myself to the limit and test out some seriously late braking. It was nuts, the pedal is like pushing on cast iron when stationary but you needed the whole thing when really dropping it down for the tight stuff. 4 speed H box too, the gear handle is absolutely tiny and the linkage runs right under your right arm which felt really insane, only really needed 3rd and 4th once you got going though (pleased to say I didn't stall it off the line but wow does it take some clutch control to get them going, no wonder the big beasts need 2 clutches)

As an experience, i'd highly recommend it to anyone to get the basic feel of getting out there and getting the hammer down. The feeling of speed in the single seater was unlike anything i've ever had in a road car, and you can genuinely feel yourself gaining confidence and improving lap after lap. I do have a few videos that the wife took, but they really don't do the feeling of speed justice, though i'll post em up if there is any interest.

The 'main' instructor guy recommended the Bedford Autodrome to me as a sort of 'next level' of experience, as they do a bit of running against the clock there (its a purpose build facility by the MSV for this sort of thing, with infinite run off that doesn't come with a 'proper' track, so you can't really stack it while going for gold) though i've got half an eye on doing something at Brands Hatch (for another F1 connection).

Still buzzing now lol, anyone else done anything similar?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:24 pm 
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Strange fact I discovered today: The fella who was my instructor in the M4 is actually the drummer from Travis, Neil Primrose. Utterly bonkers.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:39 am 
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Flash2k11 wrote:
Strange fact I discovered today: The fella who was my instructor in the M4 is actually the drummer from Travis, Neil Primrose. Utterly bonkers.

Well, professional musicians need a hobby too! (and probably some way of paying the bills!)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:53 pm 
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Flash2k11 wrote:
Strange fact I discovered today: The fella who was my instructor in the M4 is actually the drummer from Travis, Neil Primrose. Utterly bonkers.


Useless fact you'll discover whenever you read this post - my dad used to work with his dad.



I got my bro and my dad one of these track day experiences a few years ago. Not a single seater (which I have to experience someday) but some nice cars. They absolutely loved it. I've never much seen the point of racing road cars, but I do really want to try single seaters. Not sure my fat pickle could fit in them though.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:54 am 
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I did one in 2003, a single seater with the same old manual 4 speed H-gear box, in Rockingham. That was on the right as well, not left hand.

Just like the OP's, it started raining after a while and the grip of the little thing was unreal. I lost it in one turn and amazingly somehow it found grip; in a normal car I'd have been out of the track off-roading! I think back then they had a Ford engine, at least the one I drove. And they let you actually race for the last 15': overtaking in the rain from the outside is the one thing I remember! Absolutely brilliant and recommended to anyone who gets a chance.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:15 am 
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I for one want to see these videos! Sounds like a lot of fun. Sadly I've only got as far as karting personally.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:48 pm 
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mac_d wrote:
Flash2k11 wrote:
Strange fact I discovered today: The fella who was my instructor in the M4 is actually the drummer from Travis, Neil Primrose. Utterly bonkers.


Useless fact you'll discover whenever you read this post - my dad used to work with his dad.



I got my bro and my dad one of these track day experiences a few years ago. Not a single seater (which I have to experience someday) but some nice cars. They absolutely loved it. I've never much seen the point of racing road cars, but I do really want to try single seaters. Not sure my fat pickle could fit in them though.


The actual cockpit 'hole' is pretty large, though once you get down into the seat, the leg room is at a serious premium. The brake and accelerator pedals are seriously close together, hitting both at the same time is very, very easy to do. It was actually pretty claustrophobic truth told while sitting stationary, really isn't much arm room either, did find my hands constantly brushing my legs when I had the wheel on a lot of lock.... that said, I imagine these cars are designed with a broad range of shapes and sizes in mind to maximise the potential customer base.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:49 pm 
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Siao7 wrote:
I did one in 2003, a single seater with the same old manual 4 speed H-gear box, in Rockingham. That was on the right as well, not left hand.

Just like the OP's, it started raining after a while and the grip of the little thing was unreal. I lost it in one turn and amazingly somehow it found grip; in a normal car I'd have been out of the track off-roading! I think back then they had a Ford engine, at least the one I drove. And they let you actually race for the last 15': overtaking in the rain from the outside is the one thing I remember! Absolutely brilliant and recommended to anyone who gets a chance.


I'd have loved to have raced a bit, but the fella in charge reckoned the insurance has been all over them for the last few years cos of the amount of people stacking it when getting a bit racey so they'd really eradicated that side of it at Oulton Park. Might have to try and dig one up where they do let you race lol. Was told the engine in the car I drove was straight out of an Audi TT, 1.8 IIRC, which in a car that light certainly gets you down the road fast enough, but yeah, the grip is the thing that really does open your eyes. The trust you end up having in the thing as you chuck it into corners at a speed that you are kind of 'pre-programmed' not to do from driving a normal car is crazy. All that on what must be ultra hard all weather tyres and the most basic of wing setups.... I can only imagine what it must be like in something like a GP3 car, let alone an F1 one.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:48 pm 
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Flash2k11 wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
I did one in 2003, a single seater with the same old manual 4 speed H-gear box, in Rockingham. That was on the right as well, not left hand.

Just like the OP's, it started raining after a while and the grip of the little thing was unreal. I lost it in one turn and amazingly somehow it found grip; in a normal car I'd have been out of the track off-roading! I think back then they had a Ford engine, at least the one I drove. And they let you actually race for the last 15': overtaking in the rain from the outside is the one thing I remember! Absolutely brilliant and recommended to anyone who gets a chance.


I'd have loved to have raced a bit, but the fella in charge reckoned the insurance has been all over them for the last few years cos of the amount of people stacking it when getting a bit racey so they'd really eradicated that side of it at Oulton Park. Might have to try and dig one up where they do let you race lol. Was told the engine in the car I drove was straight out of an Audi TT, 1.8 IIRC, which in a car that light certainly gets you down the road fast enough, but yeah, the grip is the thing that really does open your eyes. The trust you end up having in the thing as you chuck it into corners at a speed that you are kind of 'pre-programmed' not to do from driving a normal car is crazy. All that on what must be ultra hard all weather tyres and the most basic of wing setups.... I can only imagine what it must be like in something like a GP3 car, let alone an F1 one.

True. I find it funny thus to hear people claiming how they could drive an F1 car no problem!

I ended up T-boning the guy ahead of me when he lost it in the rain and came sideways as I was overtaking him. So yeah, insurance must be a bit of an issue there I imagine.


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